Meet The Chef/Owner
Born and raised in Austin, Kevin started his culinary career after various stints in real estate and on Wall Street, cooking in La Jolla, New York City, and the iconic Ajax Tavern in Aspen, Colorado. He relocated back to Texas in 1996 as a head chef at the original Central Market in Austin. In 1999, Kevin opened his own restaurant, Ranch 616, a South Texas-style icehouse reminiscent of his many years hunting and fishing in South Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. Ranch 616 combines the flavors of the Gulf Coast with the spices of Texas border towns. In addition to Ranch 616, Kevin co-owns the Star Bar.
Chef/Owner Kevin Williamson has served as the President of the Austin Restaurant Association, and as the President of the Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, a position he held for five years. He was also a spokesperson and chef for The Texas Beef Council, as well as the Texas Department of Agriculture's chef promoting the bounty of Texas' Gulf oysters and Texas shrimp. He has traveled extensively with the Texas Department of Agriculture promoting the bounties of Texas - through Brazil, China, Australia, and New Zealand.
Ranch 616 and Chef Williamson have won numerous awards, from his famed sugar-cure rub to Southern Living proclaiming three consecutive years in a row that the Ranch 616 legendary fried oysters are the "Best in the South”. His longtime use of Topo Chico in his cocktails has been highlighted in countless publications. He is especially recognized for creating the Original Ranch Water back in 1999 in Austin, Texas and popularizing the drink throughout Texas. Texas Monthly asserts, “If there was a Texas-style diner in Manhattan, it would be Ranch 616."